iPhone Gems: The Complete Guide to All 33 Twitter Apps | iLounge Article

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iPhone Gems: The Complete Guide to All 33 Twitter Apps

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Fastweet / Fastweet 2K from Glucose, Inc.

Fastweet is a basic Twitter client with an emphasis on simply reading through your Twitter timeline. The developer provides two versions, the free Fastweet which is limited to loading 200 tweets, and Fastweet 2K ($2) which can load up to 2000 tweets. Other than this limitation, both versions provide identical features. Fastweet is divided into three basic sections: your main timeline, a listing of replies and direct messages, and a section for posting new tweets.

The timeline view displays 50 tweets per page. Next and Previous buttons at the top of the screen allow you to navigate between pages to view older tweets. The replies screen works in a similar manner, displaying both public replies and direct messages, with color-coding to distinguish between them.

 

Tapping on an individual tweet will open a view of that tweet with options for replying, retweeting, sending a direct message to the user, or marking the tweet as a favorite.

 

Tapping the reply button when viewing a tweet, or tapping the Tweet button in the bottom-right corner of the main screen opens a basic window to compose a new tweet. No enhanced features are provided here for adding location or photo links; this is just a basic text entry field.

 

Fastweet provides no other features for searching Twitter, viewing user profiles, or much of anything else. In fact, Fastweet’s only real strength is its ability to quickly load up a large number of tweets and allow you to browse back through your entire timeline. This feature is less useful in the free version, since you are limited to only 200 tweets, a number that many other Twitter clients can load as well. The ability of Fastweet 2K to load up to 2000 tweets may be of interest to some users, but in our opinion a Twitter client with an actual search feature can accomplish this in a much more useful manner than simply trying to manually read through thousands of messages. iLounge Rating (Fastweet): C. iLounge Rating (Fastweet 2K): C.

Nambu is a free multi-purpose client that supports Twitter, FriendFeed, Ping.fm, Laconica and Identi.ca. The general user interface is very similar to Twitterrific, although replies and direct messages are in a separate timeline, and advanced search capabilities are also available. Your Twitter feed is presented in a single timeline, with buttons at the top to refresh, post a new tweet, and select between the main timeline, replies/DMs, and search. Buttons at the bottom provide access to FriendFeed and Ping.fm.

Tapping on an individual tweet opens a detailed view of that particular tweet, with additional buttons to reply publicly, reply via direct message, translate into English, follow or unfollow the user, mark the tweet as a favorite or flag the tweet.

 

Nambu supports only basic tweet posting, with no options for inserting photo links or location information. A simple “Send to Twitter” dialog box is provided, with a character counter in the bottom-right corner.

 

Tapping on the search button in the top right corner presents the search screen, where you can either enter a basic search term to perform a simple search or tap the target reticle button to search for tweets near your present location. Tapping the Advanced button brings up an advanced search criteria screen, where you can enter much more detailed criteria such as word and phrase matching, searching for specific people, searching by location, or searching by date. A History button at the top of the advanced screen also allows you to access a listing of previous searches.

 

Nambu does a reasonably good job as a Twitter client, providing basic browsing and posting capabilities with an above-average search feature. Despite its lack of sophisticated Twitter features, Nambu may appeal to users looking for a client that integrates Twitter with some of the other social networking services. iLounge Rating: B.

Twinkle from Tapulous

 

Twinkle (free) is a variation on the usual Twitter app theme, providing a slightly more location-based focus via Tapulous’ own service. Rather than signing in directly to Twitter, Twinkle requires that you set up a Tapulous account, and you can in fact choose to use Twinkle with or without Twitter integration enabled. By default, Twinkle shows you messages posted by other Twinkle users near your present location.

Twinkle works primarily on Tapulous’ own service, with Twitter enabled as a secondary service under the application’s identity settings.

 

Once Twitter support has been enabled, your Twinkle timeline will show information from both your Twitter friends and your Twinkle friends integrated into a single timeline from the “Home” section. Direct Messages to you are displayed in the “Messages” section. Twinkle also provides unread counts above each button to indicate where any new messages are pending.

 

Tapping on an individual message from the timeline will show a detailed view of that message and options to publicly reply, send a private (direct) message, re-ping the original message or view the user’s profile. From a user’s profile, you can view a list of their other messages, view a list of their Tapulous friends (not their Twitter friends), invite them to Twinkle if they are not already a Twinkle user, or follow or stop following them.

 

Posting a new message with Twinkle provides a standard message entry field with options for including your present location (enabled by default), or attaching a photo link either from your photo library or the iPhone’s camera.

 

While Twinkle takes an interesting approach by attempting to integrate Twitter through another service provided by the developer, this hampers its usability as a full-featured Twitter client and creates a slightly more confusing end-user experience. The distinction between your Twitter and your Tapulous profile is sometimes unclear when using this app, and in many places where you might expect to be viewing Twitter-related information, information from the Tapulous network is used instead, such as when viewing friend listings. Twinkle’s location-based services work quite well since it provides more detailed location information than most Twitter clients, and therefore can be very useful for networking with other Twinkle users in your local geographic area. Otherwise, however, Twinkle and Tapulous duplicate much of the functionality already provided by Twitter itself while not really adding anything new to the mix. Twinkle does a reasonably good job as a basic Twitter client, and has a very nice user interface, but serious Twitter users will find it deficient compared to the many other more Twitter-specific options out there. iLounge Rating: B-.

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Comments

1

Nice to see my app of choice twitterfon being highly recommended by ilounge :)

Posted by Alicia Bankhofer on February 25, 2009 at 5:11 PM (CST)

2

I disagree. ;) No way does Twitterrific Pro get a D. It’s missing some advanced features and doesn’t filter replies. BUT it’s the best app for straightup reading and occasional replies - both UI and stability. Tweetie crashed on me today and also posted a tweet before I finished typing it. Never have I had that happen in Twitterrific Pro. (My top three are those two and Twitterfon.)

There are actually more apps than just these for accessing Twitter. This looks to be a list of *deicated* Twitter apps.

Posted by DaveZatz on February 25, 2009 at 7:28 PM (CST)

3

I wish the ratings didn’t take the price tag of the apps into consideration, something they obviously do here.

Either that, or break down each app’s rating into the various criteria provided.

I’d be happy to pay up to $50 for an app whose user interface, user friendliness, and feature repertoire all score A+, than for a $1 app that has fewer features, poorer UI, and lacks in user friendliness.

Don’t rate the price. Just rate the rest, and leave it up to the individual consumer to decide whether the price tag is worth it or not.

Posted by Finnyboy on February 26, 2009 at 8:24 PM (CST)

4

#3, we give the price the weight we feel it deserves. No one is paying $50 for iPhone apps, and we have no interest in seeing that change by ignoring the importance of price relative to the performance of apps we review. In other words, feel free to re-rate the products for yourself based on the rest of the information provided, and whatever your own criteria may be for balancing their weight.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on February 26, 2009 at 9:50 PM (CST)

5

Tried a few mentioned here, settled on TwitterFon, more feature rich than it seems on the surface, particularly like the GeoLocation search feature.

Posted by Dave Fowler on February 27, 2009 at 5:08 AM (CST)

6

With regards to the pricing considerations in the ratings, bear in mind that if we really did find a $10 app that did sufficiently more than a $1 app, the ratings would definitely reflect that.  However, when you have a more expensive app that does nothing more than the free options that are available, this is reflected in the rating as well.

For example, both Tweetie and Twitterfon received the same very high rating, despite Twitterfon being free, since Tweetie delivers value for its $3 price tag.

On the other hand, Twitterrific Premium received a D simply because it delivers nothing for its steep price, particularly considering the developer also offers a nearly-identical ad-supported free version. If you like Twitterrific enough that you want to buy the Premium version as a “donation” to the developer, them by all means feel free to do so, but we can’t in good faith state that the app provides good value for your money in comparison to the rest of the options out there.

To put it another way: The higher the price tag of an app, the more we expect from it. Our ratings reflect where apps fail to meet those expectations.

Posted by Jesse Hollington in Toronto on February 27, 2009 at 6:41 AM (CST)

7

I use both tweetie and twitterfon and I am curious about something.

Does twitterfon support multiple accounts?

I didn’t see it in the review and no place online says it.

does anyone know?

Posted by Mike Coogan on March 13, 2009 at 11:43 PM (CDT)

8

I have only used TwitterFon so I don’t know if the rest have this problem… but it crashes easily (especially with links to some particular sites like the Wall Street Journal tweets).  It would be great if it didn’t crash.  I guess for the price though I shouldn’t complain because otherwise it is an excellent app.  But for the crashing issue it well deserves that high rating.

Posted by Rufus on March 24, 2009 at 10:07 AM (CDT)

9

This great review is in desperate need of a refresh…Twittelator and Twitterrific are both at version 2.0…Twitterrific with a huge price drop as well.  Meanwhile, Tweetie and TwitterFon haven’t changed, while Twittelator offers more options than any other iPhone Twitter app, and Twitteriffic’s updates now make it equal or better than TwitterFon or Tweetie, in my opinion.

Let’s have a Part 2 update of this review.  It was a good one!

Posted by Doctor on May 20, 2009 at 11:22 PM (CDT)

10

Agree with #9 go for part2 of this review, not only a lot of upgrades, also new very interesting apps like Landscape Twitting!

Posted by Kigonjiro on July 22, 2009 at 4:48 PM (CDT)

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